Weekly Poll Results – COVID-19: Shielding (Week Beginning 15 June 2020)
Each week Disability Equality Scotland send out a poll question to our members on a topical issue. For the week beginning 15 June, we asked a question about people in the shielding category.
If you are shielding or at high risk from COVID-19, do you think there is enough information and support available to you?
Yes – 22% (24 respondents) No – 78% (87 respondents)
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There were mixed opinions from respondents on the information and support available for people in the shielding category. Some respondents believed there was adequate information to begin with, but less clarity as the shielding period was due to end.
“There is enough information available, it is clear and easy to understand but it is coming thick and fast just now and seems ever changing in what can only be described as a great rush to get back to ‘normal’.”
“At the start of the Coronavirus situation it was a case of 12 weeks which was fine, something that everyone understood even if it was difficult to do. However, the nearer we got to the end of the 12 weeks there was a lack of information on what was happening.”
Not in the Shielding Category
There was consensus from respondents that there is a lack of information and support available for people who are not in the official shielding category, but still at high risk from COVID-19.
“Shielding information seems clear, but for those at high risk less so. There seems little clarity for this group, almost left up to individuals to decide what to follow.”
“Unless you’re officially in the shielding group you get nothing! A phone number to ask for help and that is it.”
“As there are so many variations of disease and to what degree someone might suffer, there is not enough information for those who feel they are at greater risk and how they go about getting support to be classed as needing to shield.”
Eligibility for Shielding
Some respondents felt there was a lack of consistency and clarity regarding the criteria to be recognised in the shielding category.
“I did not receive a letter to shield, though having looked at the guidelines thought I should be. I contacted my GP and, on his advice, I was advised to shield. All very confusing.”
“My daughter has cerebral palsy and a wheelchair user she has not had a shielding letter although her social worker said one was being sent out, we have never received it.”
Many people are taking on more caring responsibilities for their relatives and friends who are disabled, ill or older and who need support. Several respondents believed there is a lack of financial assistance in place for carers.
“Unpaid Carers have been totally forgotten about with no support. How do the government expect us to survive on £67 per week? Bring on universal basic income as a bit of a help.”
“Unpaid carers are undervalued in terms of what they do and how much they save the government. The least the government could do is raise carers allowance to give carers enough money to live on. Dignity and respect.”
“I am an unpaid carer and have been shielding with my husband. I welcome some of the easing of restrictions from next week but more needs to be done to give unpaid carers more financial support.”
“People shielding and the carers and family have been forgotten about and unpaid carers have had no financial assistance even though we have had to give up work to step into full time unpaid care rolls as care support has been withdrawn.”